WCQS launches new station, rebrands itself as Blue Ridge Public Radio

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Congratulations to the new Blue Ridge Public Radio, which is the old WCQS. Here’s the press release:

Western North Carolina’s NPR station, WCQS, is expanding with more news and options for listeners. The growth is reflected in a new name, Blue Ridge Public Radio, which is the home for both WCQS – with news and classical music – and its new, all-news, sister station, BPR News.

The addition of 24-hour BPR News reflects BPR’s commitment to wider and deeper coverage of the news. BPR News will carry several of NPR’s daily current events programs not found on WCQS, including “On Point” and “Hear and Now.” Weekend listeners can tune in to “Ask Me Another” and the “Ted Radio Hour.”

WCQS’s format will continue with its blend of engaging music and news, which has made it one of the most popular stations in the region. Both stations will feature increased reporting of Western North Carolina news by the expanded local news staff, including Matt Bush, Jeremy Loeb, Helen Chickering, and Davin Eldridge.

New local programming will be added over time, starting with “The Waters and Harvey Show,” hosted by UNC Asheville professors Darin Waters and Marcus Harvey. The program addresses the experiences and influence of minorities in WNC and the United States. The “Waters and Harvey Show” begins airing March 11 at 3:00 pm on BPR News. The series will also be released as a podcast on the NPR One app and the new BPR News app.

BPR General Manager David Feingold said, “We’re proud to update our name to make room for an additional service. Beginning March 6, we’ll broadcast two channels of public radio. News and classical WCQS Radio will welcome its new sibling, BPR News, a 24-hour channel for NPR journalism, with additional local and national news coverage and programs.”

Asheville residents can tune into BPR News on 107.9 FM, BPR.org, the BPR App (formerly the WCQS app) and NPR One, so BPR News is always at their fingertips.

Listeners can visit BPR.org for the latest local and national news, program schedules, live streams and more for BPR News and WCQS. Blue Ridge Public Radio, which is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, relies on the support of donors to bring its NPR style of journalism to Western North Carolina. Fans of Blue Ridge Public Radio, BPR News and WCQS can donate at BPR.org.



BPR – Blue Ridge Public Radio and its two services, news and classical WCQS and BPR News, are Western North Carolina’s home for music and NPR journalism with its engaging, in-depth style of storytelling. Listeners can find BPR programming on the radio, BPR.org, and the BPR and NPR One apps. BPR and its translator stations serve more than 400,000 people in 13 counties. Blue Ridge Public Radio is funded by its listeners and local businesses and organizations. It is governed by an 18-member volunteer Board of Directors, with input from its Community Forum.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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1 Comment

  1. CHC March 8, 2017

    One might think that Blue Ridge Public Radio might be abbreviated as BRPR, but then some listeners (and non-listeners) might call it BURPER. I suspect that this was discussed at WCQS when deciding on the new name and its acronym.


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